We Are Called

Text: Romans 1: 1-17

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

INTRODUCTION:

Just like Paul we are a called people. Rom. 1: 6, 7: “And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people…” Rom. 9:23, 24: “What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for his glory – even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?”

In Paul’s case, this was a calling that went all the way back to the time of his birth. He was “set apart for the gospel of God” ( Rom. 1:1) before he was born! Gal. 1:15: “But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace…”
Compare Jer. 1:5: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

In fact, the root of calling goes all the way back to eternity past.

[Who] saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,
(2 Timothy 1:9 ESV)

And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
(Romans 8:30 ESV)

[Even] as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
(Ephesians 1:4 ESV)

Our holy calling stems from God’s election of us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Because we are called we have a purpose and identity: We know who we are and what we should be doing.

1. WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE THE LORD.

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
(Romans 1:1 ESV)

A servant is a bond slave. We are slaves of Jesus Christ and we ought to serve him because he bought us with a price, with his precious blood.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ESV)

[Knowing] that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.
(1 Peter 1:18-19 ESV)

We are no longer to live for ourselves but for him.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
(Galatians 2:20 ESV)

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
(Philippians 1:21 ESV)

2. WE ARE CALLED TO STRENGTHEN THE BRETHREN.

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—
(Romans 1:11 ESV)

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
(1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

We have been given roles and gifts to build up one another.

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,
(Ephesians 4:11-12 ESV)

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
(1 Corinthians 12:7 ESV)

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
(Romans 12:4-8 ESV)

Are we fulfilling our roles and using our gifts for the common good?

3. WE ARE CALLED TO SHARE THE GOSPEL.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”
(Romans 1:16-17 ESV)

We should not be ashamed to share the gospel. It is divinely powerful; therefore, we should confidently proclaim it.

So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
(Isaiah 55:11 ESV)

Everyone needs the gospel: it is the only way people can be righteous before God. Therefore, we should share it with all.

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (Romans 10:13-14 ESV)

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